If it is the pleasure of the committee I will proceed, and I promise to be brief. Now in Great Britain there is a movement on foot, as there is in the United States and in all parts of the world, to shorten the hours of labour. It is believed that a ten hour day, even the year round, calls for more energy than most men are able to supply. Now, John Rae has written a book on this subject, and here is what he says in the introduction :
I may take this opportunity of supplementing the account in the text of the experience of the eight-hours system in the engineering trade, by stating here the results of the year's experiment of the eight-hours day in Messrs. Mather and Platt's iron works at Salford, which have only been made known while the sheets of this work were going through the press. Mr. Wm. Mather, M.P., the head of the firm, has written a report upon the experiment for the consideration of employers and work people in the engineering and machine-making trades, and a full sum-
mary of this report appeared in the ' Times ' [DOT]of the 20th March.
The Salford iron works are a large establishment, employing 1,200 hands, and the employers *who said Mr. Allan's experiment proved nothing because it was made in a small establishment *cannot raise the same objection against the experiment of Mr. Mather's firm. Their business is making machinery, about which they *employ a variety of different trades-patternmakers, iron and brass moulders, smiths, coppersmiths, tinplate workers, engine-fitters, millwrights, electrical mechanics, tuners, fitters, brass-founders, boiler-makers, &c., and Qn the 20th of February, 1893, they reduced the hours of all trades at their works from 53 to 48 in the week-81 hours on each of the first five days of the week and 4J on Saturday. The day was divided into two spells, with a single break for dinner, instead of three spells as before ; the men took their breakfast before coming to work in the morning. After a year's trial Mr. Mather has had the results carefully [DOT]examined and'compared with the average of the six preceding years, and has found exactly as Messrs. Allan, Messrs. Johnston and Messrs. Short found in their works, that the men have ^produced more in the shorter hours than they used to do in the longer.
Although this book was written by John ' Rae, it is not an expression alone of John Rae's opinions and experiences. This book is largely a compilation of the testimony of scores of large employers of labour, to the effect that shorter hours of labour are economically sound, that more is done in shorter hours in many trades, in the run of the year, than in long hours. Now I would like to point out to the government that ten years ago, in the navy yards of Woolwich and in the cartridge factories of Great Britain, the hours were reduced from ten to eight. I would also point out that on all government works in the United States, I think, speaking subject to correction, on all works calling for manual labour, only eight hours a day is exacted instead of nine. I may mention that two firms with which I am acquainted down in Nova Scotia reduced their hours of labour from ten to nine. They did so with fear and trembling at the beginning, but these companies have since informed me that in the run of the year they have got more work out of their men in nine hours per day, or at least as. much, as formerly they did when they worked ten hours, and with the very gratifying result that the men are in better humour and take to their work much more keenly than when they put in ten hours a day. I desire also to mention that while a few men in the government employ are employed for short hours, four to six hours a day, the great bulk of Dominion government employees in manual occupations are compelled to work for ten hours a day.
Now, I come to another aim of organized labour, and that is to secure legislation that will provide compensation for injury and for death. I have already spoken in this House of what is known as the British Mr. KENDALL.
Workmen's Compensation Act. That Act was put on the statute-book of Great Britain and came into force in 1898. In 1900 the scope of its operations was extended. By this Act, iGany employee is killed or injured in certain specified hazardous occupations, he or his representatives receive compensation for death, and if he is injured, he receives compensation for time lost. This Act virtually makes an employer the insurer of his workmen at his own, not the workmen's cost. I think myself it would be well for the government of this country, in dealing with employees in certain hazardous businesses, to make a more generous provision than it has been doing for losses by death and by accident. I am glad to be able to compliment the Postmaster General on the fact that on several occasions when employees of his department have been killed in the railway mail service, he has come to parliament and has asked in each case for $2,000 for the family of the employee killed. It. is to be regretted that on the Intercolonial Railway where brakemen, couplers, firemen, engineers and others are being frequently disabled or killed, there is no such generous provision for these men. Now, I think that when a man loses a leg or an arm on the Intercolonial, some provision should be made for compensating him. I would strongly urge that since in an old and conservative country like Great Britain, the government has adopted legislation of so advanced a character as I have referred to, now eight years afterwards, the government of this country might prudently move to put a similar Act on our statute-book for the benefit of its own employees. I believe the province of British [DOT]Columbia has a similar legislation on its statute-book, and has had it for two years. Down in Nova Scotia some four years ago an Act called the Employer's Liability Act was adopted, which embodied many of the best features of the Workmen's Compensation Act. With regard to old age pensions, another aim of trades unionism, I shall say nothing beyond the fact that the British parliament has recognized the principle of the scheme to this extent, that it has voted an endorsement of it. I may also mention that our trades unions will also urge for legislation to give them a fairer chance in the courts of law, but on that point I will uot dilate at present. To sum up the points I have been making, I think I may say that the government, as a great employer of labour in this country, should be a model employer, and that as far as possible the principle of a fair minimum wage, shorter hours, compensation for injury and death, and old age pensions should be provided for.
Now one word more. As I said in the beginning of my remarks, I believe the day is not far distant when the labour element of this country will make itself felt in this parliament as it has never done before. What I am about to say I can say without
being reproached that I am catering to the labour vote, because circumstances have about forced me out of public life.
Before sitting down I wish to accentuate what I have already said as to the elective power of the labour element. They have only two labour representatives, they should have more, but if my voice and advice reach the leaders of the labour party in Canada I would say to them : Do not attempt the impossible. Do not attempt to send into this House any great number of straight labour representatives because if you do you will fail to send five here. To my mind there is an effective method which can be used to secure legislative power for the workingmen and that is for labouring men in every county where the labour element is an elective factor to pledge their candidates, jGrit and Tory alike, to support a moderate labour platform. Some Liberals will be elected and some Tories, both being free when they come to Ottawa, to join their parties on every question except those connected with labour matters but on labour matters they would come pledged to unite together and form a party to forward labour enactments. By this method only it seems to me, at least for the next ten or fifteen years, can labour make itself felt as a factor in the development in Canada. What I advise should take place in Dominion elections I also advise with reference to provincial elections. With very little expense and difficulty the present labour organizations could form a Canadian Legislative labour league whose duty it would be to direct the labour policy and see that all candidates for public honours subscribed to their tenets, and if in some constituencies Liberal and Tories arrange to ignore that plaform then it would be in order for the labour elements to thrust their own candidates into the field. I have just a parting word and it is this; I am glad that certain advanced men in' the Liberal party in this House, have during the last few years, endeavoured to make progress along the lines I have indicated and I sincerely hope that the labour element of this country will give due credit to my hon. friend the Minister of Labour (Sir William Mulock). I know that he has not accomplished for them all that the labour element wish to be accomplished, but in spite of the difficulties which have surrounded him at every turn I know that he has effected a very substantial change in the legislation regarding labour in this country. I would like to say to my Liberal friends that the labour element the world over is the natural ally of Liberalism and that it is the duty of the Liberal party to stand by its own allies. I wish to point out, just to accentuate this idea, that Mr. Gladstone, when asked once what was the difference between Toryism and Liberalism said : The essence of Toryism is distrust of the people ; the essence of Liberalism is confidence
in their ultimate good judgment. Though some people in this country may think that it will be a dangerous experiment to send a strong labour, radical element to this parliament I believe that in the future of this country, if we are to develop and grow, we must place our confidence in the labour element. The schoolmaster, as I said before, has been abroad in the labour element. The labour element is dissatisfied and is bound to make itself felt and once more, Mr. Chairman, I ask the great Liberal leaders of this country to see to it that our natural ally Is not alienated from us.
The patriotism of our labour element is as strong as in all other classes, and I know that the responsibility of influence in this House would show the aims of the Canadian labour element in a light that would be a pleasant surprise to people who now regard those aims with anger or with dread.
Topic: ALIEN LABOUR IMPORTATION.